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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,


I'm in the planning stage of HT room and i'm looking for a good projector for low $$$. I'm going to mainly watch DVD movies and some TV. If anyone has any info or websites that are good for learning about them please post. but so far i've looked at two different projectors the infocus LP425Z and the Sony VPL-CX1. I'll be setting this up in the basement with no windows just lights that i'll be installing into the room.


Any help would be great.

Thanks

Chad
 

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I have one for about 1 month. Got it for $1850 from www.electrified.com with $30 S+H. It's very impressive except for not absolute black (dark gray as most LCD). Its colors are great and XGA resolution makes screendoor not noticeable until about 6 feet or less. I use a homemade screen and it's still great (duck cloth from Walmart for $14 for 3 yard X 60 in.) 3 year warranty is great as mine had 1 dead pixel and they'll fix it ASAP with free shipping to and fro via Fedex (1 year express service and the other 2 years as standard parts and labor). It's very quiet (39 db). Its bulb is only $250 for 2000 hr. This is better than the more noisy DLP with shorter, more expensive bulb ($400-500 for 1000 hr). The DLP bulb tend to dim over time too (after 500 hours, the lumens may be reduced to as much as half--so I read). DLP is better at blacks, contrast, no screendoor. Colors may be less vivid in the lower end models (LP425z) and rainbows distractions may be present (search this forum for rainbows and you'll see what I mean). Professional reviews are out there for the CX1 but mostly in Europe and it's also favorable. The reason CX1 is cheaper is CX2 is out with 750 lumens. 550 lumens is plenty bright for dim lighting (no windows). I actually have brightness at 15% and contrast at 90% on my settings as colors appeared washed out if too bright. High power (gain) Dalite Model B manual pull down is only $262 for 72"X92" and may improve the brightness even more. I think you can find CX1 for $1725 now at other places. LP425z is less than $1500 but your bulb cost may catch up. Other good models include Canon lower end models, Epson Powerlite 50c, NEC LT150 ($2400), and Mit. SA51. My throw on the Sony is 110" diagonal at 13.5 feet on back wall on shelf (side-discharge exhaust). Good luck, but I love my Sony.


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Huey ;-]


[This message has been edited by Huey (edited 08-08-2001).]
 

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Yes if you use Svideo, component, or composite input. For VGA (RGB) the computer will do the 16:9. Component will require VGA to component adapter for $70 (Sony brand) or $30 if generic. You can choose the VGA input as VGA or component from menu. Even if you choose 16:9 format there'll still be black bars on top and bottom (letterboxing) just like your TV except much larger :) as the panels are 4:3. The advantage is 16:9 mode when accompanied by 16:9 output from DVD player (chosen from menu) will give you much better resolution. The true 16:9 panels projectors are usually above 4K but will give you true 16:9 imaging. That's why a lot of people buy Panamorph 751/752 or Isco I/II aftermarket lenses to squish or stretch the 4:3 image to simulate 16:9 panel projection. Of course these lenses are above 1K each. All you have to do is to mask off the overlap area with black fabric with tape or velcro and you'll have very good 16:9 imaging.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will it be worth using a progressive scan dvd player with this unit or will it be fine with a normal dvd player?

Thanks for the all the information

Thanks

Chad
 

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I have a cheap Toshiba DVD via 50 foot Svideo Silver Series Belkin cabling and the image is great. However, my progressive output of my computer is better; just not as "plug and pray" like a set-top box DVD player. Progressive player via the VGA to component adapter is going to be much better than Svideo. If you have a HTPC that's the best and you won't need the adapter :)


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Huey ;-]
 

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Huey, thanks for your review (both here and at projectorcentral http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). I am very interested in this projector, and even more so after reading about your (mostly positive) experience. Can you compare the image quality to some other products?


The price/performance ratio for this projector seems excellent, but I haven't found a lot of information about it.


/Mike
 

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Huey, this Sony projector seems intersting. Do you know if it is compatible with a progressive component signal from a DVD player? It's cheap like the LT150 mistake and has no rainbow problems. Looks like another good choice for a first projector. I think the LT150 must have a better picture, but right now it's significantly more money (40% more). Anyone else own one? I have a 60x80 matte white screen and only watch at night for complete light control.
 

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Yes, LT150 have better picture (contrast and blacks) but its color is comparable to my Sony. I saw a LT150 at the hospital I work and love the image, but I also saw rainbows galore and it's noisy (a high pitch whine from the color wheel when sitting close). Dell's deal is unique but even at $2500, it's a great projector; however, you do take a chance at rainbows (50/50 chances that you may see them) which may interfere with your movie enjoying experience and its bulb cost is ridiculous ($500 for 1000 hour max. which means it may be even less and brightness may decrease over time). Its noise will bother me as mine is right over my head and it may interfere with movie soundtrack--hushbox or further placement is important (except the throw of LT150 is very short which negates placement further back in the room). The Sony has 1.3 zoom so placement is less critical (you can down or up size the image to fit your screen) where as the LT150 has to be moved to fit the screen. I have small children (3) and putting it on the coffee table is too risky (spills, falls). The LT150 is very hot to touch and the Sony is only warm to touch at its exhaust. This may heat up your room in those warm summer nights. NEC has good warranty too but only 2 years compared to 3 of Sony's. DLP units will have more noise due to the spinning color wheel in addition to the fan(s). Like any spinning product (like a fan) its motor may go bad (off-centered causing more noise or distortions in picture or dead altogether)--I'm sure we've all had an old fan that died or makes loud racket. Sony has a better deinterlacer built-in than LT150 as my VHS (not SVHS) via composite looks pretty good too. Cable TV through VCR is very watchable through composite. If you have SVHS VCR and S-video I bet it'll even be better. This unit is digital TV compatible meaning it'll automatically reset itself to 16:9 if digital TV via RCA DTC-100 is inputed into VGA input. Yes, there are lots of better projectors but most will cost more unless you find a "DELL's deal" or Ebay. The problem with Ebay is your warranty may be a hassle as it's through the original buyer. The weakness of this unit is there may be dead pixel(s) problem but Sony will fix/replace if it's within the 16:9 viewing field even if it's just one (no 1-5 pixels being acceptable crap like with LCD laptops). Unfortunately this is a problem of all LCD units (even the gold standard, expensive DILA). Even DLP units can have dead mirrors (pixels) as it's part of the production risks and technology. Just find a company that'll fix dead pixels; I mean if you're going to pay $2000+ you'd want perfection, right? I would go with a Hi-power Dalite Model B which will allow more ambient light during viewing. I just spent too much time on my DIY screen to pitch it--plus I'm too cheap :). Sony has a good reputation with 400Q and WH10T so I think their projectors are good (especially for HT applications). Infocus LP425z may only be $1300 but after a couple of bulbs ($400 for 1000 hr. and metal halide is the older bulb which will dim quite a bit after a while) it'll even out the cost of the Sony. I think the price of VPL-CX1 will continue to fall (probably to $1500 in 3 months) as CX2 (750 lumens) and CX3 (1000 lumens) are out. Just remember, the longer you wait the less time you have to enjoy movies :) The best thing is to buy from people that'll let you return it if you don't like it. It's like buying a car, you need to test drive it.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Hi Chad, Hi Huey,


I too am interested in the CX1 - mostly because I've never spent much time with a projector and because of the WAF related to the low price.


I'm shopping for a house as we speak, but there are no basements in my part of the country because of flooding. Any room that I put a projector in is going to have at least a window or two.


Does the CX1 have enough lumens to work well - especially if I get blackout shades for the windows?


Thanks.
 

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After seeing rainbows for the first time on a Yamaha DPX-1 today, which is supposed to be improved in that respect, I am leaning more toward the CX1. I have a matte white screen which I will not change for now, and I don't mind waiting for night to watch movies. I'm just worried the image quality will be disappointing compared to the LT150(which I have not actually seen). Will this CX accept a 480p component signal through a breakout cable from a progressive scan DVD player? You say it automatically resizes input from a DTC-100. It takes HDTV too? It's the word, "automatic", that scares me. What about when I want to watch non-anamorphic DVD? Will it resize those to a 16x9 window as well or can you override it. This is an absolute must for me! Thanks for the help.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thxave:
You can select 16X9 or 4:3 manually in the menu but only with a S-Video or component input.


Avery

Ok, I understand , you can manually select with 480i sources, but with a 480p component source from a progressive scan DVD player using a breakout cable(I assume this projector does not have dedicated RCA component inputs), can you select as well, or does the projector see this as computer input and disable the choice? Anyone actually have it set up this way?
 

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I don't have a set top progressive player so I've not used component progressive break out cable. I just know that they sell them for about $70 (Sony brand). I do know that using HTPC via VGA input the progressive output is great and the computer does the 16:9 or 4:3 imaging if you check "keep original aspect ratio". I'm not sure if it'll doe component progressive at 480p. I do know that it does RCA DTC-100 via VGA cabling as it treats RCA DTC-100 like a computer progressive input. The HD imaging is 16:9. I would call Sony at 1-877-350-3477 (technical support) to get details of your questions. I don't think daytime viewing with windows is adequate on this unit as 550 lumens is inadequate. Evening and night viewing is great though. If you have room-darkening shades or blinds, it should be fine. As long as ambient light is low enough (difficult to read newspaper) then image will be fine. Sorry I don't know more but I don't have a set top box prog. DVD player.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Hi,

The CX1 will not take a component(480P) input from a progressive scan DVD player unfortunately.You will not get any picture at all with a progressive scan player in progressive mode. Also, the VGA input does not have an option for 16X9/4:3 in the menu.


Avery


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My HT Pics http://members.aol.com/thxavery/


[This message has been edited by thxave (edited 08-12-2001).]
 
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